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High-definition video from space shows the extreme power of Hurricane Florence
16 September 2018, 08:31 | Dale Webster
City taken by one of the Expedition Three crew members on the International Space Stati
Florence weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm on a five-step scale but had maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km per hour) as of 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), down from 130 mph earlier in the day.
Beach communities in North and SC emptied out on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence threatened to unleash pounding surf and potentially deadly flooding as the most powerful storm to make a direct hit on the southeastern states in decades. Highways clogged with people fleeing North and SC early Wednesday as monstrous Category 4 Hurricane Florence rumbled toward the eastern USA as the biggest storm there in decades.
But the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday evening that the storm is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to the Carolinas as it approaches the coast Thursday and Friday.
"There's very high confidence that Florence will reach the southern coast of North Carolina on Thursday night as a very risky major hurricane", meteorologist Bob Henson wrote on the website weatherunderground.com on Tuesday night.
- Winds could exceed 80 miles per hour from Thursday to Saturday.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents. "But more than likely, it will be Friday and into the weekend where most likely we'll be seeing some gusty winds", he said.
"This is not going to be a glancing blow", Byard said at a press conference in Washington, warning of power outages, road closures, damage to infrastructure and potential loss of life. In 2016, the state gave the company until August 1, 2019, to dig up and close some coal-ash pits and nearly a decade more to deal with others.
Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.
Terrifying as the situation is (I am regularly checking on my folks, who abandoned Charleston for the highlands of North Carolina), there is a silver lining. And once the impacts of this storm start to come in, it's going to be very hard for first responders to get to you.
"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said. Farmers will be using the next several days to prepare for the storm, he said.
Florence is predicted to turn more toward the northwest through Thursday - but then is expected to head more west-northwest and stall a bit over the Carolinas. The National Hurricane Center is calling for 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 centimeters) of rain in North Carolina, with spots up to 40 inches (100 centimeters). But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will remain behind at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program.
At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other storms, Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac. "It's sort of like having 33 weather stations out in the middle of the ocean", said flight director Richard Henning.
What many people don't seem to realize, Masson said, is that studies have shown more than half of deaths resulting from hurricanes come from storm surges while less than 10 per cent are attributed to wind.
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NASA footage reveals the 'menacing' Hurricane Florence
The ocean waters that Florence is travelling over are about 2.7 degrees (1.5 degrees Celsius) warmer than normal, McNoldy said. Thinking of the outages likely to come, it also warns to use grills and generators outside - away from doors and windows.